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How Hitler Evolved the Traditional Army Establishment (ePub)

A Study Through Field Marshals Keitel, Paulus and Manstein

Military > By Century Military > Reference World History

By Dr Pier Paolo Battistelli, Andrew Sangster
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 23.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781036106041
Published: 7th June 2024


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Under the surveillance of General von Seeckt the Germans re-established their military, which Hitler utilised for his aggression of recovering Germany’s military greatness. This book explores some of the leading military figures. The often-ignored Field Marshal Keitel is explored, to see if there were any substance in the Allied belief that this Chief of the OKW was the driving force behind initial German success or was he merely Hitler’s lackey and bureaucrat. He was derided by his contemporaries because of his unstinting Prussian obedience to Hitler.

This sense of total compliance was also reflected by General Paulus, who although obedient, was reluctant to carry out Hitler’s barbaric orders relating to Jews and prisoners, but otherwise was obedient and trusting of Hitler even though he knew it would lead to military disaster. It took time in a Russian prison camp to turn him against the once adored German dictator where he eventually became anti-Nazi.

In striking contrast to the failed Paulus Field Marshal Manstein is examined. He was a skilled strategist and tactician and proved this in his victory in France. He lacked the social sophistication of many other leading military commanders, but he was one of the very few who had the courage to challenge Hitler’s military directions and decisions. He was eventually dismissed by Hitler and postwar wrote two books to regain his reputation, despite the fact he was convicted of war crimes, and whether he deserves a pedestal remains with the reader.

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About Dr Pier Paolo Battistelli

Dr Pier Paolo Battistelli gained an MA degree in the University of Perugia, Italy, and was awarded a Ph.D. degree at the University of Padua, Italy, with a thesis on the German–Italian military partnership during WWII. 

About Andrew Sangster

Andrew Sangster has six degrees, in Law, Theology and four in history including his doctorate. An ordained priest, he has trespassed away from the Church to teaching and the study of history. He has taught in grammar schools and at Eton College, was a headmaster for some nine years and has assisted post-graduate students of history. He has some twenty published history books to his credit both in the United Kingdom and overseas with one co-authored with Pier Paolo Battistelli, the well-known Italian historian. When not called for Church duties he studies the lesser-known aspects of modern history and plays chess for relaxation.

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